Kenyan banks urged to embrace Chinese yuan
NAIROBI - Kenya's umbrella body of the banking industry is encouraging its members to embrace the Chinese yuan due to the increasing importance of the Chinese economy globally, officials said on Monday.
Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) CEO Habil Olaka told journalists in Nairobi that China has become one of the biggest trading partners of Kenya.
"As a result, Kenyan banks should facilitate the conversion of the Chinese yuan to the Kenya shilling in order to facilitate the growth of the Sino-Kenyan trade," Olaka said.
The bankers lobby is urging its 43 members as well as microfinance banks to ensure that Chinese and Kenyan traders can access the Chinese currency.
Previously, in order for Kenyan traders to buy goods from China, they had to convert the Kenyan shilling to the foreign currency such as the US dollars and then convert the dollar to the Chinese yuan so that they can pay their Chinese supplier.
Olaka said that the process costs Kenyan traders a lot of fees in terms of commission.
He noted that the convertibility of the yuan into the local currency will also ease the process of the Chinese community based in Kenya in sending money back to their home country.
A number of banks already have the Chinese yuan available over their bank counters.
Olaka noted that the easy convertibility of the Chinese yuan in the Kenya shilling is likely to boost the efficiency of the economy.